CP: How long have you been out of the closet?
Laura: So, you know, you come out a million times, but I came out to my immediate family and close friends kind of sporadically throughout my teen years. But kind of in general at 18 when I moved out of the home. So about 10 years now.
CP: So how do you identify and have you always identified in that way?
Laura: I identify as a gay woman and yes, I have always identified that way. I knew since I was 10, so I was a real early bloomer in that department. No doubt in my mind.
CP: What was dating in Pittsburgh like when you first started dating here, and has it changed since then?
Laura: So, you know, other than, like, having a serious girlfriend in college, I did not start dating pretty much at all until about four years ago. When I did first start looking, I had no idea where to go and I wasn't finding many resources. I did struggle to find women. Gay men are everywhere, but finding women was really challenging. And, to be honest, not really finding any kind of events or meetups, things like that that are really geared more towards women.
I’m kind of sad to say that that's still kind of my experience today. It's very limited in Pittsburgh. So I kind of quickly realized the main ways that I was going to find dates and friends was going to the handful of gay bars in the city and hoping for the best. And then, of course, the main thing, which is the dating apps.
CP: So how did you get the moniker “last top in Pittsburgh” and how seriously do you take the title?
Laura: That came about from a conversation with an ex-girlfriend. She was explaining kind of her struggles within the Pittsburgh scene and kink scene that she was kind of tapping into. And she was stating that there was a top shortage basically, and that she wasn't finding compatible partners. Then kind of ending the conversation very casually by just saying, “Yeah, you're, like, you're the last top in Pittsburgh.” And I found it really, really funny. Like, we had a good laugh about it, and it just kind of stuck with me.
CP: How did you come to the realization that you are a top?
Laura: Oh, interesting. Um, it was always a very instinctual thing for me. I was always just hyper-focused on the person I was with and, like, making them feel good and making sure they're taken care of. And, like, I was finding that I was getting more enjoyment or as much enjoyment being in that position versus otherwise. That's kind of the best way I can explain it; it is very instinctual. I kind of liked the dynamic of having someone trust you in that way, that just kind of feels amazing and empowering.
CP: So on a scale of one to ten, how would you rate Pittsburgh’s lesbian, gay woman dating scene — one being really abysmal and ten being excellent?
Laura: I would say a six. The lack of social events, lack of social groups, just the general low numbers of us. Like there's, there's only so much you can do.
CP: So my final question is, if you and I were to fight, one-on-one, no weapons … who do you think would win?
Laura: As the last top in Pittsburgh? Yes. Ah, gosh. How do we, I mean, how do we discuss this? Like, without getting kind of explicit, like, comparing notes, calling up exes, I got a couple of statistics I could bust out for you! I don't know. Listen, one of your questions, “How seriously do you take that title? The Last Top in Pittsburgh?” Not at all. Like, it's, it's definitely, like, I don't go around referring to myself as that. I simply put it in the dating profiles just because it's a witty one-liner. It’s kind of funny and gives people an idea of what to expect from me. But going back to your question, I mean, gosh, I don't know, maybe arm wrestling?